Breach, Data Security

Maine IT Office leaks foster child data

The Maine Office of Information Technology is notifying approximately 2,100 foster parents that their personal data was briefly exposed on a third party site.

How many victims? Approximately 2,100

What type of information?  Social Security numbers, addresses, children's names and the names of their legal guardians.

What happened?  On Sept. 21, a Knowledge Services contractor from within the Office of Information Technology posted information from a Maine Department of Health and Human Services child welfare services database to a third-party website outside the state of Maine system. The contractor reportedly uploaded the information to a free file-comparison website without realizing that in doing so the information became publicly accessible. The information was on the site for four and a half hours and was accessed once before being taken down.

What was the response?  The Maine Department of Health and Human Services still does business with Knowledge Services, but the individual responsible for the incident has since been terminated.

Quote: “Upon investigation, (the Office of Information Technology) received assurances from the third-party website that the information was removed from their web server and that no copy of the information remains in their custody,” the office said in a letter to those affected. “However, (the office) has also been informed that the posted information was accessed once during the time it was publicly available.”

Source: Portland Press Herald

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